Today it’s you, tomorrow it’s me

I was reminded of our common humanity on Family Day, when not one, not two, but three cars got stuck in the sandy Kuiseb river.

We went for a family outing to the great Kuiseb river. Realizing that the car might get stuck if we go too deep, we stopped in the middle of the track and started our Braai a fair distance from the car. A second car pulled up behind us, and needed to use the same track to cross the river. In the process, their car got stuck. We helped push their car, but it was clear pretty early that it required great force to get unstuck.

Help came from the other direction, and we managed to pull the second car out of the sand with a rope. Our car then got stuck as we tried to navigate it out of the river. The help vehicle could not get it out, and also got stuck. Luckily we could push this one out without need for a car to help. After much struggle, a fourth vehicle helped our car out of the sandy river.

I was so relieved, as we were contemplating possibly sleeping in the car in the absence of help from town.

What started off as my family offering help to another family that got stuck, ended up in us having an exciting day. Everyone who showed up was there to help, and no one left the other until the last car was out. It was a spirit of teamwork and sharing ideas openly to solve a problem. We came from diverse cultures, demographics and physical abilities, but we were all united in getting the last car out despite moments of despair.

I tried offering reward to the people who helped us on the day, but they all refused. For them, the reward was helping another human in need. I relearnt the lesson that we indeed are all human, and in times of need, we can, and do pull together.

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